On Saturday, former Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini became an offensive consultant with the San Francisco 49ers, leaving his cushy gig at ESPN for a chance to get back in the NFL.
As anyone in Cleveland knows, Mangini was last seen in the football world being fired from the Browns after going 10-22 in two seasons. His was an especially raw deal, as then-president Mike Holmgren gave him a second year when he never wanted to in the first place, all because the appearance of firing a coach after one season would look particularly bad.
And, as only the Browns can do, they managed to make it look even worse.
But now Mangini is in San Francisco with a Super Bowl-caliber team that is simply retooling for another big run. Like any spurned lover, Mangini is ready to prove his worth to someone else, and it looks like he hit the jackpot.
It’s not the most glamorous role, but Mangini will be successful with the 49ers. The Browns might be on the right track now – might be – but if they prove that they’re not, the mishandling of Mangini in Cleveland is an early move that set up the organization’s continued failures.